Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My "Tiny One"

That's one of my many nicknames for Brooklyn. And rightfully so.

Yesterday, she had her 4-month check-up with her pediatrician. Dr. A said that she is doing beautifully developmentally. He said that she is actually reaching some developmental milestones early. She is getting longer...she was 23 inches long (25th percentile). That's the good news.

The bad news is that Brooklyn is not gaining weight like she should. She weighed 10 pounds, 4.5 ounces yesterday. This puts her below the 3rd percentile. Dr. A is concerned about her "failure to show adequate weight gain."

The problem, he thinks, is that #1 - she has reflux, so she is spitting up too much of her food, and #2 - her tracheomalacia is causing her to burn too many calories because she has to work so hard to breathe all of the time.

I am frustrated and upset at myself about all of this. I know I didn't have a blog for the first couple months of Brooklyn's life, so I haven't told y'all about all of the weight gain problems we had for her first two months. She was 3 weeks early and weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces. She had a really bad case of jaundice and a heart murmur. So when you combine those things with being a little early and small...let's just say that feeding was not an easy thing for my little girl. She was sooooo tired and wanted to sleep all of the time. I would try to get her to nurse and she would just fall asleep. She couldn't latch right or stay latched because her muscles in her jaws and tongue weren't finished developing yet. The same thing would happen with bottle feeding. For the first couple of weeks, it was a struggle just to get her to take 10 or 20 cc's of pumped milk, drop by drop, from a syringe, every 2 hours. She dropped down to 5 pounds, 2 ounces. I was so stressed out. I was so worried that she was going to die, or be horribly sick, or readmitted to the hospital, or that the doctors would think that I wasn't feeding my baby and have her taken from me. What the hell was wrong with me? I couldn't even feed my own baby! What kind of a mother can't get her child to eat? She was so skinny and it made me so sad and afraid. We were constantly at the lactation consultant's office and at the pediatrician's, having weight checks and changing our strategies on how to get Brooklyn to eat and grow. It took her a month to get back to her birth weight, but slowly and surely, she did it. That's the short version of the story.

All that to say...she has been growing and gaining since then, and I really thought that the weight gain problems were behind us. Yes, we have other medical issues to deal with now, but I thought we were safely past the weight gain struggle.

So now we are back to weekly weight checks at the pedicatrician and weekly visits to the lactation consultant. Dr. A consulted with our pedicatric pulmonologist, and he also wants us to give Brooklyn at least 2 bottles of formula a day in addition to the breastmilk. We have to add extra formula powder to the bottles to add calories, or our lactation consultant can provide us with preemie high-calorie formula to supplement with (again).

My poor little girl. I feel like we are going back to where we started.


And Baby Makes Three said...

I completely understand your frustration with the feeding/weight gain issues. I had to pump and bottle feed Claire, which I still do, and supplement with Neosure--a special formula for preemies (you may want to ask about it for the calories)--in her breastmilk bottles. Just this past Monday I started supplementing with half formula/half breastmilk bottles...I'm sure that, like me, you only want her to have breastmilk, but they need the calories to gain weight, and that's all that really matters. She will still be getting all that good mommy milk, just with a little help from a can. I will keep you and Brooklyn in my prayers...that is the ULTIMATE stressor, I completely understand! Hang in there!

edie & ella said...

You are doing a wonderful JOB!!! It is normal for a newborn to lose up to 10% of their birth weight initially. Ella went from 4 pounds 10 ounces to 4 pounds 2 ounces in the NICU then back up to only 4 pounds 5 ounces when we took her home. Once B gets this tracheomalacia behind her maybe she can play some catch up.
I say have a great time on your road trip but live on the edge a little ------- leave half of that stuff at home so it will take some of the stress off your shoulders. The swing, lap pads ----- home, home........... good luck with your dad -- I hope he bahaves. Tell your brother Thanks for serving our country. Sam

Hope said...

It sounds like she's doing very well, despite weight gain. You are doing a great job with her. These "malacia" babies are tough sometimes. Have they mentioned extra oxygen or home monitoring?

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